Minecraft: Education Edition Announced!

Minecraft being used an a learning device in school? This seems promising!

Minecraft’s popularity has grown larger than once imagined and because of this, we keep seeing new innovations with our beloved video game. With Minecraft already being used in many schools all around the world (whether it be for grade school or even college), Microsoft has decided to get in on all the talk involving the game’s capabilities for teaching and learning.

Minecraft has always been known for its extremely open environment, allowing for players to create new goals to achieve through their hard work using the tools given to them. If a player finds a problem with something they’re creating, generally, the player will work until that problem is solved, reinforcing the idea that Minecraft allows for players to create new ways to overcome a problem they may be faced with. Teachers have caught wind of Minecraft’s ability to help players with problem solving and have decided to bring Minecraft into their classrooms because of this.

In 2011, MinecraftEDU was created. This version of Minecraft was created specifically for classrooms to teach students various subjects with something rather than a piece of paper. Teachers quickly realized that students would often pay more attention to Minecraft (or something that they can relate to on a much more personal level) rather than other assignments given to them. With MinecraftEDU’s popularity growing more and more, spanning more than forty countries using it in various classrooms, Microsoft had announced its acquirement of MinecraftEDU and that they would work with what has been built to create Minecraft: Education Edition.

Vu Bui, COO of Mojang, stated on the subject of Minecraft: Education Edition, “One of the reasons Minecraft fits so well in the classroom is because it’s a common, creative playground. We’ve seen that Minecraft transcends the differences in teaching and learning styles and education systems around the world. It’s an open space where people can come together and build a lesson around nearly anything.”

While on the subject of the reasoning for Minecraft in schools, Rafranz Davis, Executive Director of Professional Development and Learning, Lufkin ISD stated, “In education, we are constantly seeking pathways to explore learning beyond the confines of a textbook. Minecraft allows us that opportunity. When we see our kids enjoying the process of learning in this way, it’s a game changer.”

As Rafranz Davis said, using Minecraft in schools is without a doubt a game changer in terms of educating students on the various subjects taught. With technology growing faster and with educators bustling to find new and interactive means of teaching, Minecraft: Education Edition is a must (or should at least be tested and considered).

Microsoft and Mojang have stated that they are dedicated to shape Minecraft: Education Edition with many educators to get the best experience with their product. They have also announced that any current customers of MinecraftEDU would still be able to use MinecraftEDU, as well as being given a first year of Minecraft: Education Edition for free upon release. Minecraft: Education Edition will be getting a free trial this summer.

In the next coming months, we can only expect big things from Microsoft, Mojang and the Minecraft: Education Edition team. Bringing new forms of education through teaching is very important in our lives as many people follow and agree with the “out with the old, in with the new” mentality. In teaching, this mentality can work positively and negatively. Teaching through Minecraft shows many amazing benefits and can hopefully be brought forward in classrooms all around the world. With Mojang expanding their horizons in teaching (such as their Hour of Code Campaign), hopefully the world can start learning one block at a time.